Wildcats#039; playoff picture blurry

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

Florala Head Coach Doug Vickery and the Wildcats thought they were in the playoffs after a win last Friday night. Turns out the victory against Houston County came just a little short of guaranteeing the Wildcats of a spot in the state playoffs.

Florala plays the

Brantley Bulldogs this Friday night in Brantley with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. A Wildcat win secures a playoff spot.

A loss by Florala and the Wildcats could still get in if Ariton (6-2) defeats Houston County (4-4).

If the Wildcats lose and the Houston County Lions upset the Ariton Purple Cats then the playoff picture would become very blurry. It would create a three-way tie or third place in Class 1A, Region 2.

The tie would not be able to be broken until the final game of the regular season is completed on Halloween due to the various tiebreakers.

Vickery said the Wildcats must focus on Brantley and not worry too much about the playoff picture and things they cannot control.

Brantley is undefeated and receiving two first-place votes in the most recent Alabama Sports Writers Association Poll. The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 2A.

Vickery is not surprised the Bulldogs are ranked near the top.

"They have a great team with super team speed and are very good on defense," he said. "They remind me of Red Level on film."

Vickery said the Bulldogs have not lost, but they are not unbeatable.

"We have to control the clock," he said. "Time of possession will be big. We need to keep their offense off the field. They are extremely explosive."

Vickery said the Florala players realize what they are up against and what they need to do to secure a playoff spot.

"They have a chance to do something special and our kids realize there is a chance we won't be in the playoffs," Vickery said. "Brantley and Samson are two big games for us."

The Wildcats will attempt to use a balanced attack with a few deep looks against Brantley.

Vickery, however, said he knows the Wildcats will have to play great to defeat a solid Brantley team.

"They have the total package and aren't ranked No. 2 in the state for no reason," he said.